Hello, everyone! Today I’m thrilled to host an interview with author Taylor Reid!
Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author and essayist living in Los Angeles. Before becoming a writer, she worked in entertainment and education. Forever, Interrupted is her first novel. Her second novel, After I Do, will be out Summer 2014.
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✖ Thank you for agreeing to this interview. After reading the bio, we’d like to know more about you! What’s the quirkiest thing about you?
It might be my unabashed, possibly misguided but nevertheless intense, love for McDonalds. I feel like most people eat McDonald’s in a “Oh, I shouldn’t be doing this” sort of way, whereas I insist upon embracing the McMuffin loudly and proudly. Long live, Ronald McDonald!
Bizarrely enough, I find all other fast food restaurants to be depressing.
✖ Tell us a bit about your book! What inspired Forever, Interrupted or drove you to tell this particular story? What sets it apart from others in its genre?
Forever, Interrupted is about a woman who meets the love of her life and they elope, and then he dies nine days later. When she gets to the hospital, she has to face the mother in law she’s never met.
I think the big thing Forever, Interrupted has going for it is that it’s told in two concurrent storylines: You learn how Elsie and Ben fell in love at the same time you see how Elsie copes with her loss with Ben’s mother, Susan.
✖ Do you think you could share your favorite excerpt or tease us with a single quote even?
I’m going to cheat a little and share the epigraph. It’s an excerpt from a beautiful Craigslist posting and I think it perfectly encapsulates the heartbreak of the book.
“Every morning when I wake up I forget for a fraction of a second that you are gone and I reach for you. All I ever find is the cold side of the bed. My eyes settle on the picture of us in Paris, on the bedside table, and I am overjoyed that even though the time was brief I loved you and you loved me.” —CRAIGSLIST POSTING, CHICAGO, 2009
✖ What was your process for writing Forever, Interrupted? Did you make a story outline, map out scenes with index cards, or did you just go with the flow?
I knew what I wanted the beginning to be and I knew what the ending was and I figured the best thing to do was just sit down and start writing. My outlines never look anything like my first drafts anyway so I figured I’d just go for it!
✖ What advice have you most benefited from? Do you have any words of wisdom you’d like to impart to all the writers still on their journey toward publication?
The biggest thing I’ve learned from my experience and from talking to other writers is that you can do all sorts of research and planning, but until you get in there and get your hands dirty, you don’t know what you have. The best way to write is to sit down and start writing. You can always rewrite a terrible first draft.
✖ If you could visit a fictional setting, what would it be and why? Also, who would you most likely get into a fight with?
I would love to go to one of Gatsby’s parties. I don’t even need to meet Jay Gatsby. I just want to stand by the fountain and watch everything happen around me.
That being said, if I did meet Daisy Buchanan, I’d sock her in the face.
Elsie Porter is an average twentysomething and yet what happens to her is anything but ordinary. On a rainy New Year’s Day, she heads out to pick up a pizza for one. She isn’t expecting to see anyone else in the shop, much less the adorable and charming Ben Ross. Their chemistry is instant and electric. Ben cannot even wait twenty-four hours before asking to see her again. Within weeks, the two are head over heels in love. By May, they’ve eloped.
Only nine days later, Ben is out riding his bike when he is hit by a truck and killed on impact. Elsie hears the sirens outside her apartment, but by the time she gets downstairs, he has already been whisked off to the emergency room. At the hospital, she must face Susan, the mother-in-law she has never met—and who doesn’t even know Elsie exists.
Interweaving Elsie and Ben’s charmed romance with Elsie and Susan’s healing process, Forever, Interrupted will remind you that there’s more than one way to find a happy ending.